US annual rights report scathing in criticism of China, Secretary Blinken proud his country can confront its own problems

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks about the release of the 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices at the State Department in Washington, March 30, 2021. (Photo courtesy: AP)

(, Mar31’21) – The United States has on Mar 30 made a scathing criticism of China for a panoply of severe abuses in Tibet, Xinjiang and other regions as well as within its own territory in the State Department’s annual report on human rights around the world. Releasing the report, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has pledged that the US would address its own human rights failings as part of a broader global promotion of civil liberties.

The report has devoted almost 50,000 words to its assessment of China’s human rights record, including blistering critiques of Beijing’s treatment of ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang and Tibet; its increased censorship amid the coronavirus pandemic; and its efforts to increase control over Hong Kong, reported the Mar 31.

That’s exactly what separates our democracy from autocracies: our ability and willingness to confront our own shortcomings out in the open

“We know we have work to do at home,” Blinken has told reporters, in particular citing systemic racism in the US.

Binken’s remarks came just a day after China released its own assessment of the human rights situation in the US. But unlike the US, China never acknowledges that it has human rights problems, given the fact that its abusive violations are part of official policy and conduct.

“That’s exactly what separates our democracy from autocracies: our ability and willingness to confront our own shortcomings out in the open,” Blinken has said. “The way we confront our challenges at home will give us greater legitimacy in advocating for human rights abroad.”

In the report’s preface, Blinken has restated his assessment – inherited from the erstwhile Trump administration – that the Chinese government had committed “genocide” and “crimes against humanity” in its treatment of Uygurs and other ethnic minority groups in the far western Xinjiang region.

While the report reviewed rights situation in some 200 countries and territories, this year’s report continued to devote some of its longest sections to China and Russia, which also happen to be among the adversaries of the US.

The report came amid rising global criticism of China’s policies and actions in Xinjiang, with the scrutiny increasingly focused on claims of widespread, state-coordinated forced labour in the region as well as in Tibet.

On Mar 29, a United Nations panel said it had information tying more than 150 companies around the world to alleged human rights abuses against Uygur workers.


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